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Utah lawmaker kills own education bill that gave guv, Senate more power

Published March 11, 2013 1:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In an unusual move, a senator essentially killed his own controversial education legislation Monday and urged other lawmakers to look critically at their school proposals.

Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Odgen, asked Monday on the Senate floor to basically withdraw SJR5, which sought to change the state Constitution to give the governor and Senate approval power over the appointment of the state superintendent. He said he believed he had the votes to pass SJR5 through the Senate, but would rather see the issue discussed over the next year by a task force to be created under one of his other bills, SB169.

That bill would create a $64,000 education task force composed entirely of lawmakers with the goal of crafting an overall plan for how to improve education.

He also urged other lawmakers to reconsider some of their education bills, though he didn't name specific proposals.

"I imagine there's other legislation on the board today that should be given the same consideration … other pieces of legislation that, on their own, look very helpful and productive, but in context of where we want to go as a Legislature they might be distractions," Reid said.

SJR5 had drawn differing opinions from lawmakers and education leaders, with some saying it would have created more checks and balances, while others said it would have further politicized education.